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August 29, 2002

Alicia Molik


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You tried really hard out there. Didn't do much wrong. Is she just in another class all together?

ALICIA MOLIK: Venus is a great player, yeah. One thing that was, you know, definitely a factor is new surroundings. You know, you got five tiers instead of three benches on Court 12, got music between the change of ends, got a slower court than what's out there - I felt anyway. You got the replay scoreboard. You don't get that out on Court 12. The atmosphere is completely different. I mean, the tennis is one thing; that's definitely another thing.

Q. Have you gone and watched a match in that stadium?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I have been in there.

Q. Did you see the hubbub?

ALICIA MOLIK: Not this year, but, yeah, I have been in the past, absolutely.

Q. Different perspective when you play?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, absolutely. You know, if I had my choice, I'd love for them to schedule us out on a small court. That's what I play on every day. That's what you're more familiar with. Probably Venus wouldn't be familiar with those courts because she plays full-time out on Arthur Ashe.

Q. Must be a great experience to go out there, though?

ALICIA MOLIK: Absolutely, yeah. I saw it definitely as an opportunity, and I really believed that I could do really well. I really believed that I could have done a lot better than I did.

Q. You got off to a good start. Almost broke her. It seemed like her serving wasn't as good as probably it normally is, certainly her second serve. Was that something you were trying to jump on?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I mean, she slices it out. Often - I think, most of the time - it usually does go to the opponent's forehand. I mean, I knew it was going there. One thing was to try and jump on that. But a lot of times I arrived at the ball and I thought it would scoot through a bit quicker. The ball's coming quick, the court was playing slow. I think early in the first two or three games especially, there were a few forehands that I really had a lot of time for when I was approaching. You know, to get the timing was a whole other thing. I had to really execute well, especially when she's on the baseline moving so well. That took a little bit of time to get used to because I didn't realize it played quite that slow.

Q. The conditions, do you think they suited you or suited her?

ALICIA MOLIK: I mean, Venus plays every match out there. You'd have to say absolutely they're going to favor her.

Q. In terms of the court speed and wind.

ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, I mean, I love that sort of speed of the court. Like I said, it's not like a Court 6 or a Court 7 or a 12. It's a different arena, a bigger arena. I think it plays a little bit slower. I mean, that's the first time I've stepped out on it, too. Gonna take a little while to adjust to it.

Q. Is it distracting to play with the TV screen there?

ALICIA MOLIK: It was the first time I played with it. Yeah, I didn't actually realize that screen was up in center court. I don't remember if it was there last year or not. For sure at the start of the match I was tossing the ball up and obviously, I realized it was there. It is different, yeah. You're seeing the bright lights, the flashing lights. You know, it's another thing to get used to out there apart from everything else.

Q. How do you rate your game tonight?


Q. Yeah.

ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, like I think I was off to a good start, you know. I think I'm a better player than what I showed out there tonight.

Q. Do you think the match was closer than the score indicated?

ALICIA MOLIK: I had a lot of chances to serve out games, yeah.

Q. Just on sort of a non-tennis thing, since you've been in New York this time have you gone down to ground zero? Have you looked there?

ALICIA MOLIK: I haven't been there particularly, no.

Q. It's not something that you kind of thought about?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, absolutely. But, you know, it's -- playing tennis, it's tiring. It took an hour and a half to get out here today, takes an hour and a half to get back. Usually you're scheduling two practices, if not matches. When you're not playing, you want to recover or you want to rest or send faxes or e-mails. You want to watch a bit of TV and relax. There hasn't been a lot of time really for doing that. You don't want to be going off sight-seeing the day before you have to play a big night match. There hasn't been time. But no doubt, yeah, I definitely plan to go down there at some stage later on.

Q. One of the things that people say about Venus - certainly Serena and Venus - is that they're so powerful. I couldn't help noticing as you came across, past the net, you're certainly not smaller than she is, yet she just seems to hit the ball so hard. I mean, there was one time where you guessed correctly where she was going to try to put a winner away, and you got over there. It still went right by you.

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I agree with you, the ball is coming very fast, it's coming very deep all the time. So, I mean, she definitely plays different to a lot of other opponents. I mean, naturally, she's a big girl, she's a very strong girl. I mean, that's why she is where she is. Not many girls hit the ball like her. You just have to give credit, really.

Q. I suppose my point being that physically, you and she are fairly comparable.

ALICIA MOLIK: Okay, yeah.

Q. Yet she seems to hit the ball so hard.

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, well, that's probably it. Obviously she hits it harder than me.

Q. How?

ALICIA MOLIK: That's why she is where she is.

Q. How?

ALICIA MOLIK: I don't know. Don't know. I mean, she has a good technique. She's always played that aggressive style of play. She's very confident when she hits the ball. You look at the technique, it's always very -- the same, I guess. You put all those things together and you get a hard hitter.

Q. What do you take away from this match?

ALICIA MOLIK: I guess next time I go out on Arthur Ashe, I'll be a lot more comfortable. That's definitely one thing. Second of all, you know, I think I had opportunities. Next time I play her I'm sure I'll do a lot better, yeah... I think that's it, really.

Q. Do you see anyone beating her other than Serena?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. I think there's a lot of people that can give her a run for her money. I think, you know, you can't count out Capriati. You can't count out Lindsay; she's been performing well. Chanda Rubin, I think. I'm not sure if she beat Venus a few weeks ago, did she?

Q. Serena.

ALICIA MOLIK: She beat Serena. Then you've got players like Hantuchova, who's one of the younger ones, who hits the ball big and serves big, too. I think there's a lot of players, yeah, that can sort of take it to her.

End of FastScripts….

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